Growing up, my parents had inculcated in me that I have to be careful of how men perceive me physically. There were clothing that I wasn’t allowed to wear because as they said they might send a different message to men. During my growing up years, they would always remind me to wear a bra every time I go out because “bumabakat daw” and I have to be careful when going outside as people have malicious eyes and minds.
That “rule” was made just for me. My brothers are free to wear whatever they want. Hell, they can even go outside shirtless. I don’t blame my parents for that but I just somehow wish that they would see that times are different now and women are done of accommodating men’s comfort over our own. At some point, I just grew tired following something that seems illogical to me.
Bras aren’t always comfortable to wear. They restrict my movements, also an outfit doesn’t seem to work out with me wearing one. I also get back pains when I wear a bra for so long. I think it is likewise important to give your pair a break as it can cut off blood circulation. Tightness and squeezing around your chest can compress your major blood vessels and it can also affect the shape and size of your breasts over time.
The first time I tried going out without it was kind of a daunting experience for me. I was conscious every time someone would stare at me. An officemate noticed and asked why I wasn’t wearing one, I just shrugged and told her I wasn’t comfortable wearing it at the time. She asked, “walang nakapansin?” And I told her, “I don’t know. Kung meron man problema ba yun?” After that, my bra-wearing days are now counted.
But of course, it made me restless. I was conditioned for years to think that I have to adjust with other people’s comfort over mine. Why do I have to compromise my comfort just to feel safe? It’s about time men should be held accountable for their actions and stop putting the blame on women’s body.
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one feeling this way. So I asked my friends if they have ever tried going out without wearing a bra and their reason behind it. Sure enough I got a mouthful of answers from them.
A friend told me a story of how her mom would always tell her to wear a bra, even inside the house.
“Nakakairita na all my life growing up in that house hindi ako comfortable kasi laging ganun, laging may mga lalaki na kailangan sa kanila mag-adjust. And honestly I don’t care if people see na bakat nipples ko heck i don’t even care if they see my boobs. I only care because they’re so sensitive and they are uncomfortable about it. But I’m so tired of nipples being sexualized,” she said.
Another friend related how she went out to get groceries only to find out that she forgot to wear a bra.
“Noong una ang sarap kasi ang free sa pakiramdam, nakakagalaw ka nang ayos. Then nung narealize ko na kaya pala ganun kasi nga wala pala akong bra. After that bigla akong na-conscious kasi feeling ko pinagtitinginan ako at baka nakikita nila ‘yung nipples ko kahit di naman super bakat or kita,” she said.
Well, all of them felt the comfort and only tried to do it because they could get away with it, without anyone even noticing it. Others, like me, were just rebelling against the idea.
The fight for women’s ownership over their body has been going on since then and is definitely far from over. The only difference now is more people are more welcoming to the idea than ever before. Perhaps it’s because of the changing times or women just don’t care anymore and just do whatever they want (not that it’s a bad thing). Call it women’s liberation. The point is, we should do whatever makes us and our body comfortable.
I was actually having second thoughts about writing this piece because I know that I’ll have to be conscious if ever one of the guys I know, will, by chance, read this., Then, I will have to check my shirt and see if my nipples are protruding. But then, it dawned on me that I just don’t care and if they actually react about it, I’ll just point out that they have a pair, too. Mine just so happen to be bigger than theirs. So fuck it, right? A big middle-finger to your face for sexualizing what’s something natural, like the female body.
It’s my body, and my choice. Anyone who has a say about it can shove their opinion up their arse.
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