By Artist & Poet Sophia Greenhough
I’m scared of going bra free. Some days I can, most days I’m not bra-bra-ve enough! (bad joke, but true). Partly it comes down to the wrong clothes, which is why I enjoy Loose Debra’s suggestions, but for me it's also about confidence.
For all the good You Tube does, it does a whole heap of bad. I feel like there is so much pressure to look a certain way. Billions of You Tubers bombard women with daily style tutorials - it's no wonder I feel substandard without cosplay boobs, bulging lips and vision-blocking eyelashes! This cultural obsession with fakery shrinks the soul, and as I watch the vlogs I ask myself 'Are we all sheep?' (no offence intended towards sheep).
Frankly I crave freedom.....the freedom to be me. The me without cosmetics. The me without chemicals soaked into my skin and hair. The me who wears mismatched clothes, just because. Me the artist. Conscious me. The me who is bra-less, knickerless, sockless and feeling free. What I want to ditch is the me who is parading about like a Baywatch knock-off in an electro magnetic, qi-scrambling lymph node constrictor (a little dramatic or paranoid perhaps but you catch my drift!). Basically, I am over being this show pony in a padded, push-up, man-made shaping device.
Combatting the Show Pony!
I’m twenty-nine and study art. It’s my passion and gives me the confidence to follow my heart. At times though I'm caged by a fear of judgement - and a cage is no place for an artist! If I remain a sketching, painting, web-surfing couch hermit I will never fulfil my potential. So I'm learning to sculpt my own dreams rather than plod along in a dissatisfied daze.
The need to combat my Inner Show Pony is actually my need to just be me. My Show Pony, is a state of anxiety which stems from this strive for perfection (dictated by the media). The Show Pony is the persona I portray when I'm not fully comfortable and confident. Maybe you know the Show Pony? Maybe you have your own? Whether your approach is overbearing and needy (like donkey from Shrek) or a bit snooty and arrogant (how I imagine Royal Horses to be). Whatever it is, it's a show, and your whole ensemble is designed to be 'on show' - to parade, conform, win approval; from cosmetic contouring to the trends we follow.
I know, strictly speaking, I am writing about bras, but going bra-free has become about far more than the absence of an article of clothing! For me going bra-free outside of the house can simply be too scary; I feel exposed. I need my Show Pony Bra, and this is the problem.
Changing Society one Lost Bra at a Time
Since the fourteenth century, women’s breasts have been pushed up to create a desired shape which is naturally unachievable (this alone is shocking). Retailers promoted bulging bubble boobs to make their clothes look attractive and later plastic surgeons did too - to make their wallets look attractive. Womens' self-confidence in their natural bodies was the victim of revenue.
The push-up bra, felt like it was targeted at a teenage me. Wearing it felt amazing - I finally had 'perfect' boobs! The wonderbra was a wondrous chisel, sculpting a sexy goddess figure whilst chipping away at self identity, confidence too, in the knowledge that it was all a Perfect Lie. Since the age of sixteen the question ‘do I need a boob job?’ has been a recurrent thought. But why? Surely not. I wonder, is that all my life experience, education, thinking, travelling, conversations, relationships, achievements etc have amounted to!? Something so shallow - ridiculous but true!
So going bra-free is far more than the absence of an article of clothing. For me, it’s about reclaiming my body as a female.
Why can’t we love the bodies we have? Well, I think it’s pretty damn hard to, considering society has indoctrinated women to be our own worst enemies, and gender-based conditioning has taught us to be shy and coy, rather than bold and confident. Bralessness makes me question why I should conform? Why shouldn’t I feel happy the way I was born? I want to be proud of my body. Let’s be the women we were born to be! We can change society, rather than letting society change us! I'm saying beyoutofull and Loose De-bra!
I Didn’t Realise I was Writing a Whole Braticle!
My plan was to write a post for Loose Debra about some wireless bra options that I thought would be suited to women who want to, but can’t yet, lose their bras. Accidently, this became more of a braticle about my emerging feelings on trying a bra-free life!
I'm unapologetic though, as I do feel women need to get real and talk bodies. Loose Debra needs to hear the way we feel and help to spread that message and empower women everywhere.
Reclaiming the female figure is an essential work-in-progress! A revolution in body confidence. A journey every women can make. We will change fashion and the narrow definitions of what a woman can look like, but until we do, I aim to try to feel genuinely comfortable in my own skin.
If every part of you detests the fact you wear a bra, but like me, you still need that crutch, then I recommend a sports bra for running and a bralet or wirefree bra for everyday wear. There are some great suggestions here in ‘The 12 best bras for women who hate bras’. If you are going to wear a bra, let it be comfortable and gradually try to reduce bra-wearing habits.
I love the fact that Loose Debra suggests bra-free ideas and my confidence has certainly grown as the permission to be bra-free sunk in. Women need to discover clothes they look good and feel authentic in. I have a turquoise patterned dress which I love wearing without a bra and it’s not high necked, instead the material is doubled up to make it supportive and ensuring no nipplage. Same with this vintage zip-up denim catsuit (pictured below). I feel beautiful, feminine, and myself in it. I wish for all women to feel this way when they Loose De-bra!
Sophia Greenhough, Artist and Loose Debra follower