The ’90s normcore revival needs no introduction. It has come in at full speed, infiltrating social media feeds and hip stores, bringing with it mom jeans, Teva sandals and turtlenecks. But there’s one thing it isn’t packing: bras. Yes, it appears we’re all being sold the casual and carefree dream that can only come with donning a set of unbridled nipples. Just ask Bella Hadid.
Why it’s trending
Going braless is nothing new. The concept is as old as women’s liberation. And like most trends, we’ve come full circle — straight back to our feminist predecessors. The current pushback on the push-up is seen as a political choice. While we want to be comfortable, we also want to make a statement.
Case in point: #freethenipple, arguably the biggest feminist movement of the past 12 months, which has seen women posing topless on social media to protest sexual objectification and double standards.
While the campaign had its share of criticism (like the vast majority of the women are thin, white and able-bodied), there’s no denying that the fundamental unfairness in how the world responds to male and female nudity needs to be addressed. After enduring years of double standards, it’s no wonder we’re channeling our inner ’60s mod-mamas and letting our boobs do the talking.
Politics aside, I get the free-and-easy appeal. Spying a braless Kate Hudson in a tank and cut-off Levis on a weekend coffee run is enough to have us all burning our bras like it’s 1968. It looks cool, effortless and nonchalant. Same deal with bra-free aficionado Kate Moss. She might not have worn a bra to her own wedding — or, you know, to meet the Queen — but I sure won’t be following suit and rocking up to work without one.
Pulling it off
What the trend says, sometimes the body doesn’t agree. Don’t get me wrong, taking off your bra at the end of the day is one of life’s greatest pleasures (up there with a perfectly ripe avocado), but gravity is a cruel mistress. When I was 19, I swanned around nightclubs in dresses with little else under them than a double coat of St Tropez tan. While my 34D is hardly Pam Anderson circa 1993 Baywatch, it’s certainly enough to warrant some level of support. Now, at 27 I know donning a backless dress just isn’t my best look.
While some of us grab the no-bra lifestyle by the balls, not all of our bodies play along. Whether you’re content with your win in the gene pool lottery, or you’re still coming to terms with packing too much – or too little – up top, it’s not a trend that everyone can pull off.
From a functional point of view, it’s tricky to get away without a bra if you’re bigger than a B cup. Don’t believe me? According to a study by Berlei and the Australian Institute of Sport, an unsupported B cup can bounce up to eight centimetres during exercise and a DD cup can bounce up to 19 centimetres. Try those numbers on for size. I don’t know about you, but my dance moves are not unlike a HIIT session. If I’m going out, I’m going all out. And a silk cami dress just won’t do.
I have boobs. So do you. So does everyone. I prefer a bra for a little extra support (plus, I want to avoid stares in the Coles freezer section) but if you give zeroes about the outline of your nipples, go forth and unclip those ta-ta tamers. Free the nipple, indeed.
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