“What is this, No Bra 2017?” James asks me every morning when I get dressed, sans bra.
“WOO HOO!!!! NO BRA 2017!!!!!” I reply like I’m a 19-year-old on spring break and he’s hosting a wet T-shirt contest at Señor Frogs (#tbt).
Much to my boyfriend’s apparent chagrin, “No Bra 2017” is very, very much a thing. My “Remote Year” has also become the year I’ve given up on bras, and TBH I’m pretty sure I’ll never look back.
My boobs and I have always had a complicated relationship. They came in hot when I was 11 (making me the most popular girl at summer camp socials) then promptly stopped growing when I was 12, making me a lifelong member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee. I asked for a boob job for my high school graduation, then chickened out and resigned myself to a life of only dating “ass guys.” Even after committing myself pushup bras and contouring, my mangoes (ok, grapes) have always made me feel kind of “meh.”
But since starting to travel, something weirdly amazing has happened: It sounds cheesy AF, but I’ve started to feel more comfortable in my own skin, especially my
boobs breasts tits. In the same way that I’ve stopped straightening my hair, wearing heels and slathering my face with makeup, I’ve completely stopped wearing a bra.
Bras, to me, have come to represent the lifestyle I left behind. The version of me who wore a bra lived in New York, straightened her hair every morning and changed into a pair of high heels outside of her office building before setting foot in the lobby. She was the proud owner of exactly six pencil skirts, and wouldn’t have been caught dead walking into work/drinks/dinner looking anything short of “put together.” In true #meme fashion, taking off my bra when I got home really, really was the best part of my day.
Cut to the version of me who lives in Vietnam, Portugal, Buenos Aires and everywhere in between, and I just don’t want to be bothered with feeling constricted in any aspect of my life.
To put it bluntly: I don’t wear bras anymore because I don’t have to. I still get dressed into cute outfits every day (I’m in a very bohemian long-skirt-and-crop-top-with-a-lot-of-jewelry phase), so consider the fact that I go braless to be the fashion girl’s equivalent of the freelancer stereotype of wearing sweatpants to work. I let my boobs fly free simply because I can.
I’m not trying to topple the patriarchy (though that would be nice) or make some kind of #freethenipple-style statement a la Kendall Jenner. Going braless simply makes me feel more comfortable and more free, which seem to be the recurring themes of my new lifestyle as a whole. And bras happen to take up very, very valuable suitcase space, which I would prefer to reserve for beauty products and all the cheap statement jewelry I picked up in Thailand.
Plus, I wear the same 5 outfits pretty much every day, and none of them require a bra. Has every member of my “tramily” seen my boobs? Probably. (See below for the time I accidentally flashed them) But considering most European women don’t even bother wearing a bikini top to the beach, a casual nip-slip every once in a while seems like it’s really nbd. See, mom – travel really is changing me!
People keep referring to this as my “year of vacation,” so I figure my boobs could use a little vacation of their own. You’re welcome, (.)(.).