"Can You Tell I'm Not Wearing A Bra?"
It’s the one question I ask my boyfriend on most days before I leave for work. Maybe 2 out of 5 days in the summer and never in the winter (‘coz winter is braless season).
Why do I bother to ask though? ‘Coz you have to be careful. Check all angles, check for possible side-boob, if you’re going dancing, gotta do the jump-check too (basically, you just jump in front of the mirror and check for possible spillage lest it makes an appearance amidst inebriated Delhi boys at the club). It’s not as easy as it looks, folks!
Also, an emergency rescue mechanism I have developed over the years is long hair. I wouldn’t cut mine for the world. Because sometimes, you mess up. Maybe you misjudged the temperature before leaving the house and... hello nipples! Sometimes, your wrap blouse’s knot keeps loosening up, causing one of your boobs to start popping out (I’m smart enough to have foreseen all of these instances, but unfortunately, they’re all learnings from personal braless experiences).
At this point, it’s natural for you to wonder what my stance on feminism is. Because God forbid, a girl say anything remotely provocative without first identifying herself as a believer. Easier to dismiss it that way, no?
So allow me to womansplain my relationship with the F word. I am what I would call a lukewarm feminist. Sometimes, I might stereotype girls to explain myself better (although, in my defense, I believe there are marked dissimilarities between the two sexes but that has more to do with societal conditioning and treatment of the sexes), but of course I am a feminist, not in a-campaigning-marching-the-streets kinda way, but just in the way I am. It is important to me that my gender is extended the same privileges as any other, and that I not be subjected to any prejudice or bias because of it.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I would like to add that my issue with bras first arose not because of a social issue, but because of comfort.
*Cue flashback* The year was 2013. I was in a new relationship and experiencing all the usual stages of one, including buying and wearing new lingerie. I got my hands on this wild pink bra from La Senza. Picture an animated flamingo. Yes, it was THAT pink. Naturally, it was a push-up bra, but it was a little too tight. But if you’re a shopaholic like I am, you don’t return stuff, you make do with what you bought. However, having worn this extremely tight bra for the whole day, the elastic band left a nasty scar, leaving me with no option but to go braless for a while. *End of flashback*
Even after my scars wore off, the desire for freedom remained, and I just never went back to wearing bras everyday. Before I would wear a lot of push-up bras (shout out to my body issues, you keep it real!) But now, who cares? My small boobs are why I can get away with not wearing a bra. And no boy has ever complained, trust me. Have I ever inadvertently flashed someone? Maybe. Maybe Kendall recruited me on Instagram to spread Free The Nipple in India. I used to obsess about it, wondering what strangers must have thought about me and my unsanskaari ways, but it’s my body and my journey. I like my body, and I don’t believe it’s meant to be hidden from the world. I would happily trot off to a topless beach, but once I have abs.
Now, when it comes to fashion and going braless, it’s about making smart choices, but never compromise on style, ya hear? I mean, winters are a cakewalk, thanks to sweatshirts and chunky jumpers. But you know what they say, ‘sun’s out, guns out’. I refer to my boobies as guns here ‘cause duh, they’ve been known to act as weapons of mass destruction. So, as soon as summer’s here, it gets tougher. But your go-to this summer should be cotton shirts, smocked dresses and summer shrugs. All in all, it’s been great, and cherry on top: that feeling women crave? The one in the moment when you get home and finally, off comes the bra? That’s what I feel, all day everyday (on most days). Thank God for small boobs, amirite?