It's a personal choice: Wear a bra or, as Miley Cyrus would encourage, #FreetheNipple.
Since the ‘60s, restrictive undergarments have sometimes been interpreted as a sign of female oppression, constraining women to conform to societal expectations. Nowadays, although gender equality has a ways to go, going braless has become more of a response to comfort rather than a political statement. It's practically the norm in Hollywood. We see models and celebs—from Rihanna and Heidi Klum to Chrissy Teigen and Kendall Jenner—do it all the time.
So, why is there still adverse reaction when a star bares a little nip—and in Kendall's case, nipple rings? Do you pay any attention to a non-famous woman sans bra? Conversely, do you feel like you get attention—or feel any insecurity—when you flaunt what your mama gave you?
We asked three E! News staffers—of different ages, bra sizes and races—to go braless to get their thoughts.
Free Boobin' It
Charlotte Marsalese, 19
Bra Bias: I'm on the small chested side of the spectrum, so typically for me it's no bra, no problem. I'm usually braless, but if I am going somewhere where I feel like it's necessary for me to wear something with more coverage, like going to work, I usually wear a cotton bralette or a thin tank top underneath my clothing to keep everything office appropriate.
The Challenges: While getting dressed for work this week, I definitely put more thought into my outfit choices. I wanted to make sure I was wearing thick enough clothing that I felt comfortable and work appropriate while not wearing a bra. The worst thing about going braless is being in a situation where you start to feel uncomfortable and regret not wearing more fabric. For example, being in public and getting a weird look from a stranger. At that point, I just remind myself that my own opinion is the one that matters, and if I'm cool with it, then that's what's important to me.
Takeaway: I think too often breasts are over sexualized, and women feel the need to cover up natural parts of their body before leaving the house because it's what's considered socially acceptable. For me, I'm comfortable with my breasts and I feel better without a bra on. It shouldn't be such a big deal. I think it's all about what you are personally comfortable with. Feel better with a bra? Then wear one. To each their own.
For Fashion's Sake
Raleigh Burgan, 25
Bra Bias: I do always wear bras, but I wouldn't classify my go-tos as being supportive. I'm a sucker for a lacy bralette-type undergarment and that's what I'll normally have going on underneath. On the odd occasion, I wear something with underwire…but again, it's rare.
The Challenge: To be completely honest, I wasn't 100 percent comfortable with the idea until day two. My bra size is a 32C, so it was an adjustment having my puppies hang free. At every work meeting, I felt completely insecure about not wearing a bra. I was constantly wondering if anyone knew and how obvious it was. I definitely tried to cover them up, either with my arm placement or a sweater.
My usual work uniform goes something like this: a pair of denim, a T-Shirt and a jacket over top. If you've ever worn a white tee with no bra (and your boobs are larger than an A cup), you know first-hand how quick your standard, always-appropriate top turns inappropriate…real quick. This turned a lot of my go-to work outfits into uber-sexy versions of themselves. I basically had to change up my wardrobe for the week, wear lots of black and many bodysuits, to cater to this new freedom my breasts had.
Takeaway: I would say I won't be going braless more than I already am—only because I prefer the way my outfits look when I'm wearing a bra. However, I do have a somewhat, newfound love of bodysuits, which look amazing without a bra because of their tighter nature.
The Bra Collector
Noelia Murphy, 44
Bra Bias: I was tardy to the bra party, having been very petite on that front until my mid 20s. I pretty much went braless until then—but I love them! I have easily 40 bras ranging from bralettes, lacy things to nursing ones. If I'm wearing something clingy then I put a bra on—no one wants to see nip headlights.
The Challenge: I work at E! but there are limits. I didn't have to take a beat on work clothes, wearing mainly patterned, loose fitting tops or ones that had some lining to it. But braless always feels better anyway!
Takeaway: I think this experiment actually made me miss my bras. Comfort wise, I don't need to wear them and I like not having to worry about adjusting or focusing on my posture to keep straps up. But I do have a lot of bras that aren't seeing the light of day. Maybe my new project will be to go through and wear them. Just because they aren't necessary doesn't mean I shouldn't wear them. Plus, if you feel good about what's underneath—chances are you'll feel good...period.
What about you? Would you go braless for a week?