Thursday, July 5, 2018

I Wore a Push Up Bra for 7 Days

My mind was awakened the day my friend Michelle went braless for an empire waist dress with a fitted bust.

Since that fateful moment two years ago, I’ve stopped wearing bras unless it was absolutely necessary to conceal my nipples. I’ve also abandoned my push up bras after realizing how much they cater to the patriarchy.

In the last year, I’ve essentially only worn three bras, which I would cycle through the week and wash every six months if I could even quantify it as such: a nude unpadded Hanes bra, which I stole from my mom because it was so comfortable, an old white Victoria’s Secret bra, and a more padded nude bra for when I want to feel “more feminine.”

I was wearing that bra when I humored my aunt and let her buy me something at Victoria’s Secret’s Semi-Annual Sale. Upon seeing the bra I was wearing in the dressing room-after I lazily asked why we had to try on the bras if I knew they were going to fit based on my size-she made me promise I would trash it.

It was like a real life episode of What Not to Wear, where I told her I wear whatever's comfortable: why wear a bra when I don’t have to? On this day, I happened to be wearing one because my shirt was thin. Otherwise, I see no purpose in bras other than to hide nipples and use them to make my boobs look bigger in order to attract men.

My aunt didn’t buy any of this, but I begrudgingly accepted because I’d be stupid not to accept two free Victoria’s Secret bras and because I had to admit, I did have a posture problem. Somehow, my aunt convinced me that wearing a push up bra would fix it. What better way to test this theory than to wear push up bras for a whole week. Plus, I promised my aunt I would wear the bras-otherwise she wouldn’t have bought them for me.

Day 1:

To start the challenge, I chose to wear my favorite, old mint Victoria’s Secret bra with lace details on the straps and bands, which I scored for only $15. However, I stopped wearing it because it was too pretty to wear, and I had nowhere pretty to go. Additionally, my lazy habits had caused it to become dirty, as I just threw it into the wash with all of my other clothes. To prevent it from becoming even dirtier, I stopped wearing it.

I felt my posture improve, and my heavy bag felt lighter than normal as I walked into work. Was it actually the bra’s magical work or the heightened focus on my posture? I didn’t have an answer at the end of the day, but I did successfully separate my pretty and everyday push up bras when I got home.

Day 2:

Suffering from the guilt of wearing a pretty push up bra to work the day before, I opted for a more everyday nude push up bra from Rue21. This was a newer bra I hadn’t really worn. I quickly remembered why: it’s too big for me. Another reason why I stopped wearing push up bras was because of the boob to push up bra gap. I didn’t like the idea of faking big boobs with air essentially.

Most push up bras don’t fit people with small boobs, even though these are the people who would benefit from them the most. Victoria’s Secret has done the best at catering to the itty-bitty titty crowd in my personal experience. The only positive from this new bra was the intact straps. At the end of the day, I decided to remove it from my closet. With two new better-fitting options, there was no reason to keep this one around. I now see the value of trying on bras and not buying them blindly simply because they’re in your size, especially when you’re trying a new brand.

Day 3:

Back to Victoria’s Secret, as a pink everyday t-shirt bra was appropriate for this day off from work. However, it seemed stupid for me to wear a bra at home under a t-shirt that completely hides my nipples. Nevertheless, I had to complete the challenge, so I re-adjusted the loose straps on my bra and sucked it up. I ended up taking a nap with the bra on, taking a shower, and putting it back on in order to film a video. Bras were never uncomfortable to me; I was just too lazy to wear one, especially when I didn’t have to. Although I do have to admit that it felt good to finally take it off. I also have to acknowledge that my figure did look better with a bra on.

Day 4:

Today, I wore the first push up bra I ever got: a hot pink and sequined 21st birthday gift from my friend Julie. I wanted to wear a pretty white lace bra, another new one from Rue21, but the straps were too short and the boob to bra gap wide. The nude one and this white one are from my mom, who bought them for me without realizing that not all 32As are created equal.

Both of my options were too pretty to wear on yet another regular day, but I was out of non-pretty push up bras. I still had my neon green extra push up bra, which I bought after my introduction to push ups, but it smelled and looked dirty, so I hand washed it with my two new bras: another reason why I stopped wearing bras; I thought they were such a hassle to wash. I was wrong though because I actually enjoyed hand washing them today. It was the first time in almost two years I hand washed something, and it was nice: I cleaned the bathroom sink, filled it with water and detergent, and Voila! Magic.

It’s a good thing I appreciate hand washing clothes now because the bra smelled after a day of cooking, washing dishes, moving and taking apart furniture as well as months without a wash. It was definitely too nice of a bra to wear with the same t-shirt I wore yesterday as well as do chores in, but it’s a good thing I did because otherwise, it would have never made it to the hamper.

Day 5:

I opted for the neon green extra push up bra from yesterday’s wash to match my teal Phofest shirt. Despite it being an extra push up bra, it was pretty comfy with only a narrow boob to bra gap. Good job, Charlotte Russe. Even though I just washed it, it smells bad again because I sweated simply from driving to the bank and the store. Posture update: it’s still pretty pathetic, so there goes my hypothesis.

Day 6:

I finally got into the new bras. I chose the soft pink one first because I love the double strap design and color. The second pair of straps are black with “Victoria’s Secret” printed in white. It is the first front-clasp bra I own. As a result, I had to drastically adjust the straps to get it to fit right. Do I just have an extra long torso or something?

My boobs definitely felt nice with the bra on, but I sweated just from going outside and moving my car. This is why I don’t wear bras if I don’t have to: I don’t want the extra laundry.

Day 7:

After yet another day from sweating, I was definitely over it because I didn’t put on a bra until 4:00 p.m., and I only did it because someone was coming to check out my coffee table. I probably should have done this challenge on days when I actually had to leave the house, but this new black one has a lattice racer back, so it’s definitely a more sporty and casual push up, perfect for days like this.

Bonus Day:

I had one non-strapless push up bra left and a day at work, so I wore it and lived to tell the tale of the Cosmopolitan black and pink embroidered push up bra with a front bow detail that makes boys think I have a B cup. The Victoria’s Secret sales associate who measured me when I was with my aunt also thought I was a B cup, so it’s not just boys who are clueless about bras and boobs. I knew the nude bra made me bustier. This black one makes me bustier because it is so friggin’ tight. As a result, my posture was slightly better because I had to stand and sit straight to keep the bra from suffocating me. It became more uncomfortable when I came home and started slouching. In the end, I was glad to rid my body of it and end my experiment.

I set on this challenge hoping to change my mind about bras and improve my posture, but the hot summer heat only made me want to wear less clothing. Push up bras do help me fill out my clothes and look more presentable like my aunt said it would, but I still haven’t found a good reason to start caring about my looks again other than to impress a man. Yes, I feel beautiful when I’m wearing a push up bra because they are undeniably cute, but I also feel beautiful when I’m not wearing one, and that’s what matters the most.

Femininity has a new meaning now, and it doesn’t have to include push up bras. Women want equal rights, and we’re going to get it without pushing our boobs together. Push up bra? Nah, I prefer pushing up the glass ceiling, but thanks, now I'll look damn good while doing it. I think I found my reason again.