From Cosmopolitan Like a lot of people, I have a long, troubled history with my boobs. I remember feeling betrayed by their appearance ...

I Went Braless For a Week and Now I Love My Boobs

From Cosmopolitan

Like a lot of people, I have a long, troubled history with my boobs. I remember feeling betrayed by their appearance when I was in fifth grade, and I remember wearing two or three layers of shirts in middle school to try and hide the fact that I wasn't flat chested. Every summer, when spaghetti straps and off-the-shoulder tops come back in style, I sent a curse to the boob lords for planting these honkers on my chest. All the trends for hot weather feel like they're designed for people who don't need bras. And from the moment I took my first two training bras home from Limited Too (one white, and one in a sensible nude), I've always thought of myself as Someone Who Needs a Bra.

But then something shifted earlier this summer. My coworker, Eve, mentioned in a meeting with our editor that she personally prefers not to wear a bra - she thinks human bodies look better without shapewear holding them strategically in place. That sentiment, and the years of envy I've had for everyone I see in cute, strappy, backless dresses, were enough to convince me to finally give bralessness an honest try. I decided 2016 would be the summer I finally go braless.

There are two main things that have always led me to believe I can't be a person who goes without a bra. The first is that I have big boobs - I wear a 32E. My boobs get bigger still in the weeks leading up to my period. I've not had them measured when they're at peak hugeness, but they definitely spill over my bra cups. They're big, is what I'm saying. Big ol' boobs.

The second thing is that I'm from Texas. Growing up female in the South means growing up with a very strict set of social standards - a lady should always be wearing lipstick, tasteful sterling silver jewelry, and a bra (specifically: a bra that can't be seen by a casual observer). When I was a kid, I watched my mom get nervous about talking to a neighbor in the driveway without wearing a bra. I got in trouble as a senior in high school for wearing a t-shirt through which the faint outline of my skin-toned bra was visible. Cleavage wasn't just something to be confidently rocked - it was more like a science. You show enough but never too much, because to show too much would be worse than to show none at all. It's complicated to have a female body in a place like the one where I grew up.

But I don't live in Texas anymore - I live in New York City, a much more socially liberal place with very different social norms from Texas. There are also so many people here, so it often feels like you'd have to do something truly insane to garner attention in public. Like, something much more insane than merely skipping a bra. All things considered, I was ready to finally face what is truly one of my deepest fears and go braless for a full week.

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