[BOPO] Bra Explorer – Part 2
LOVBOD  ·  2021-03-31

  Hey, bra nothing's going right since I met you!

6) Would you mind if I pull everything including your soul at our first meeting?
I went to buy a bra for the first time after I came back to Korea. The place was indeed a shock and horror. After undressing and wearing the underwear, an employee suddenly came in, pulled all kinds of flesh from the back (I mean, there must be a reason why she did this) and stored (There’s no word that’s befitting than this one) it in the bra. I was embarrassed and shameful, so a vain laughter kept coming out. I held back my desire to ask if my life would become better if my chest grew at least one millimeter. She’s an employee, too. I just accepted that it was probably a guideline from the head office.

And I even got scolded by the employee, that the bra I’ve been wearing (the bra with one size bigger) is wrong, that if I wear a bra that doesn’t fit my chest size, my chest will droop. I felt sorry hearing those words. I felt sorry that I couldn’t take care of your (my chest)’s beauty because I chose comfort. I felt sorry but I was doubtful. Who is this current feeling of being sorry for? It means I was just happy for the inexplicable comfort that I felt.

7) Padded bra’s one-day life
After my twists and turns, I bought my first padded bras in Korea and went on a trip to Ganghwado. The padded bra that I wore for the first time in my life was more than the worst. It was uncomfortable all along the way. It was a pressure that I felt for the first time in my life. Irritation soared even when I stayed still, but I couldn’t express the frustration and irritation, and I couldn’t sleep on the bus due to the stuffiness. It’s just the power of a couple of hooks, but how did medieval women wear corsets? What about the foot-binding Chinese people?

But the incident broke out in the evening. I was grilling meat with my friends, and I couldn’t eat a few pieces because they got caught on my chest. After dinnertime that only I couldn’t enjoy, I unfastened the hooks that were imprisoning me. It was freedom that I’ve felt for the first time and complete digestion at a tremendous speed. I felt respect for my friends who have been wearing these stuffy things for ten years. I only heard that food would scramble due to bras, but I had never experienced it, so that day was simply a shock for me.

Afterwards, the two bras that I curiously purchased are still cooped up somewhere in my drawer. I didn’t even give them a single glance since. The padded bras I bought ended their life in a day like that, and I went back to the no-wire world.

8) I wasn’t all that okay that everyone else was okay
While living peacefully in the no-wire world, I resided in America for half a year and crossed the river of bralettes and no bra that I can’t come back to. That short time in America became a turning point in my life, where I met some friends who didn’t wear a bra or didn’t care if you didn’t. There was just me who was surprised and admired their indifference.

At a large local store, bralettes were much more popular than super-padded bras. I got carried away by the atmosphere, so I picked up the prettiest bralette on sale, and I couldn’t believe how comfortable it was. Some of the bralettes (including swimwear) in the West don’t cover the nipple, so I was embarrassed at first, but later I stopped caring and felt really comfortable. I felt like I had more choices now.

Afterwards, I sometimes followed my friends and took the courage to go to class or to hang out without wearing a bra. Those who met me, regardless of gender, looked at me in the eyes when talking, not my nipples. No one cared or gave a glance. So sometimes I forgot that I wasn’t wearing a bra and became indifferent about my chest. Sometimes I was grateful for that indifference. But this comfort was only for a moment, because when I came back to Korea, I wore a bra once again as if it was a promise. As expected, it was a no-wire bra, but none of the bras could surpass the comfort of no bras.

9) I’m sorry it took so long to come back

After returning from America, I tried to put on nipple patches a few times in the summer, but I was nervous that sweat would build up and take them off. I kept feeling bothered for no reason and would often loosen my hair just in case, but I was lucky that my back and shoulders didn’t become very sweaty, so I often put them on.

Time has passed and now I’m wearing a seamless bralette. The journey has been: ‘junior bra → wire bra → no-wire bra → one-day super-padded bra → bralette → no bra → nipple patch/seamless bralette.’ Currently, it seems like the seamless bralette has completely settled, but my final destination is definitely no bras. When will the world be okay with it? We should be throwing the uncomfortable bra away, not trying to find a more comfortable bra or bralette when bras are uncomfortable. Why do we have to keep looking for the most comfortable bra? Wouldn’t my life situation be better if I had saved the money for the bras I’ve purchased and thrown away? (Not only that, but also the money spent on menstrual products.) The bras even have to be replaced once every six months! Why is this place where I’ve landed, a world that makes even our bank accounts flustered?

  So the conclusion is no bra? Bralette? Or is this a seamless bralette promotion?

It’s funny when I think about it. Days of learning how uncomfortable it is to wear a bra that covers my chest because it protrudes out; then days of being punished for not covering that chest cover properly; then, days when I succumbed to the discomfort of gathering my chest to make my chest bigger and fuller, and the days when I regarded the act of showing bras as sexy. Now that I’ve gone through all these moments, I’ve finally let go of the discomfort I’ve learned. Why do we learn how to wear bras and how to endure the pressure? Is it to eventually wear bralettes? Why was I born with things that I have to cover?

Some people may say that embracing your chest so that it doesn’t droop is a way of loving your body. I respect their opinions since the level of comfort will differ depending on each shape and size. But I’m one of the people who escaped bras as a person who really dislikes discomfort and stuffiness and suffered from atopic dermatitis, therefore, dislike tight underwear and my chest skin reacting to the sweat built up at the rim of my chest.

That’s why this article isn’t about “You are ridiculous for still wearing something on your chest when bralettes are better than bras, or rather when no bras are the best! Take that off and wear a bralette right now! Or take that all off!” Everyone’s sequence is different, but I’m sure we’ve all gone through a similar journey growing up. I hope this article, which contains my journey to comfort, will be a medium that serves as an opportunity for everyone to listen to their own body stories.

After barely finishing this N-year story of my bra expedition, I want to talk about the 5,230th of the 5,076 the other characters, the “Menstrual Product Explorer” story. For your information, I’m already or currently preparing for next month’s expedition. I hope those of you reading this article will become an Nth member of the Menstrual Product Explorer and we can find a better, more comfortable life together.

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