they don’t wear a bra

The “no bra” phenomenon, or the act of no longer wearing a bra, was greatly popularized in the 2010s. (Illustrative image)Image: watson/getty

On the occasion of the feminist strike this Friday, June 14, we wondered about the “no bra” phenomenon. A choice that Raissa, Margaux and Constance have made for a long time and which raises many questions. Testimonials.

06/14/2024, 4:02 p.m.06/14/2024, 4:37 p.m.

“It’s more practical, it’s less hot. In truth, it’s simplicity and laziness that dictate my steps.” For Margaux, 32, the fact of no longer wearing a bra is not a “rebellion against society”, but a choice that was made the day she realized that she felt just more comfortable without it.

Comfort. This is the main reason that Raissa, 29 years old, and Constance, 45 years old, also give when we ask them why they decided one day to remove this piece of fabric. “At first, I was too comfortable in pajamas,” Raissa remembers. In fact, my bra was always the first thing I took off when I got home.” For Constance, who has never actually worn one:

“I think you look tight in it”

Another point in common? The Romandes agree on the fact that there was no particular demand behind this decision. “I didn’t do it for x or y reason,” Constance clarifies straight away before even starting the conversation on the subject. Raissa, on the other hand, acknowledges that his thinking has evolved over the past ten years. If the demand side was not present at the time, she admits that it appeared little by little when she saw that colleagues were starting to follow the movement:

“I think it’s a shame that a woman continues to wear this underwear when she doesn’t want to. So, if I can help other people, I’m happy. Not wearing a bra shouldn’t be a problem. But I know that it changes the norms, from what we are used to.”

Raissa

Bella Hadid attends the red carpet of

Bella Hadid at the Cannes Film Festival, May 20, 2024.Image: FilmMagic

The influence of context

And indeed: who hasn’t already decided to put on a bra under their outfit because of the context, the place or the person they will be facing? “Sometimes, putting on a bra helps you avoid unwanted looks, annoyances, comments, whispers”Margaux concedes, even if she is aware of the freedom granted by her work environment.

“I would love it if there were women in high positions who could not wear them”

“The ideal and the practice are two different things”, summarizes Raissa. She remembers her years as a waitress in Fribourg. If her colleagues “always supported” her, she remembers that certain women who worked with them made remarks to her that hurt her, “even if it was not said unkindly,” she assures. And to explain:

“They told me: ‘On me, it would be too vulgar, but on you, it’s okay because you have small breasts.’ Over time, I told myself that it wasn’t cool to tell myself that I didn’t have breasts, to imply that a small chest is not sexualized, unlike a larger one. .”

Raissa

Since it’s June 14:

Constance is also considering whether to wear – or not – a bra depending on the setting in which she finds herself. “You don’t send the same message in a job interview as you do during an evening with friends”, she raises. And to cite another example: when she goes to pick up her children from school: “I don’t want to embarrass them,” she explains. And then, generally speaking, it’s about respecting others. You can’t impose your choices.”

Rihanna during an NBA game on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles.

Rihanna during an NBA game on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles.GC Images

A future gymnasium teacher, Raissa knows that she will now have to think about her everyday outfits. “I felt that pressure again”, she confides. She and her colleagues also received specific instructions regarding the dress code to adopt. “In the end, it’s part of the profession, I wouldn’t go to classes in a crop top for example,” she admits, because it “draws attention to the clothes and not to the teaching.” And while she would have preferred to be able to go to class dressed however she wanted, she knows there’s still this idea that certain outfits — no matter the person’s gender — are “weird.” And to add:

“At school, I am not there to provoke. I will continue to not wear a bra, but I will not wear a backless sweater, for example. In the end, it’s just common sense.”

Raissa

The sight of a breast ‘is not an invitation’

Besides these exceptions, all three are totally comfortable without a bra in their daily lives:

“I don’t even think about it, it’s normal!”

Constancy

And then, overall, they have this ability to really not care what others think. For Margaux:

“It’s never happened to me that I’m not comfortable without a bra, because usually not many things make me uncomfortable. But I’ve had to put someone in their place before.”

Constance, for her part, remembers:

“Once, a guy dared to come and say to me: “Are you cold?” I said, “No, I’m excited.” I think it depends on your way of being and your attitude”

Yes, they have all already experienced an inappropriate look or comment. Raissa remembers a colleague who, when she worked on the staff of a film festival in Ticino, told her: “You’re not wearing a bra, I can see your nipples!” “I see yours too!”, she told him back.

Cara Delevingne at the Fendi fashion show on September 20, 2023 in Milan.

Cara Delevingne at the Fendi fashion show on September 20, 2023 in Milan.Image: Swan Gallet/WWD

“I find it a shame that there is still this sexualization of breasts,” regrets Constance. Aware that it is an asset of seduction, she denounces the fact that it is not because a woman’s chest is highlighted in one way or another that it is “an invitation or that we want to send a message”.

And Margaux adds: “Today, breasts are sometimes something sexualized, a pantry for children, something that you use as a woman as an asset, something that makes you complex… I’m not saying that one day they will become as insignificant as a knee.”

“I’m just saying that we need a little more tolerance and I-don’t-care”

Margaux

“Go ahead, look, it’s just breasts.”

Asked if all women could make the same choice as them, the three affirm that yes, obviously, while recognizing that having a smaller chest than others makes it easier for them:

“If the breasts are heavy or hurt, you should choose the option that suits you best in terms of personal comfort”

Constancy

“I’m lucky enough to be able to not wear a bra,” adds Margaux. But it’s so unique to each person! Some can spend a day on twelve-centimeter heels, while for others it’s torture.”

For Constance, not wearing a bra is a reflection of how she feels, “strong, proud and indifferent to opinions and judgments.” According to her, “all our accessories transmit, consciously or not, messages”. Margaux, for her part, confides that depending on the day, she likes to opt for flashy lingerie:

“When I put on a bra, I say, ‘Look at it, it’s pretty!’ I take advantage of this sexualization by wearing something mega tight or low-cut”

“You have to embrace being free”, declares Raissa, who knows that by having made this choice, she is exposing herself. And to admit to having this spirit of provocation when certain looks become too insistent:

“Go ahead, look, it’s just breasts.”

A little history…

“The rejection of the bra has recently reached the rank of symbol of body liberation to the point of embodying a form ofempowerment feminine,” wrote The Conversationin 2023.

A phenomenon greatly popularized in the 2010s. In 2014, for example, we saw the appearance in the United States of the hashtag #FreeTheNipple (#LiberezLeTéton), which denounced the censorship of this part of the body on social networks, recalls The world.

In 2018, still on the Internet, this time it was the hashtag #NoBraChallenge that emerged, i.e. posts that extolled the merits of a life without a bra.

Finally came the years of pandemic, which propelled the movement, explains Vogue. Because they were stuck at home, many women no longer wore this underwear. A practice which has survived (semi-)confinement and which is adopted in particular by many celebrities.

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