The debate is over
…I type as I sit under the church steeple of Concord Coffee, unashamed, because even Jesus knows that nipples are IN. But, why now? Why now, years after the #FreeTheNipple movement commenced, why now, as Gen Z ages into workforce maturity, why now, when Victoria’s Secret finally features plus-size models, are we shying away from the cupping, molding, shaping, plumping embrace of a bra around our cleavage? The answer, my friends, is because it’s never too late to acknowledge the cold hard fact that nipples are a normal, inoffensive, non-statement to be sported under any non-professional outfit that makes you feel confident.
Contrary to our Gen X parents’ opinions, it seems that all of Gen Z has arrived at the same conclusion about the bra: it’s a matter of formality, not of necessity. Like men wearing suits to work, women wearing bras is a practice of professional convention in settings where everybody pretends that their boobs are the same, nipple-less shape for the sake of conventional capitalism. Get your bag, ladies, but when it comes to real life, let your boobies out of their antiquated shells! 108 years after the World War I revolution from corsets that made women pass out to brasseries that finally freed them to, you know, not develop muscular atrophy, it’s time to settle into the new wave of modern comfort: no bra at all. If a war-time steel shortage was reason enough to reconsider wrapping a cage around our bust, shouldn’t the global pandemic a century later force some reevaluation of the norms as well? After so many months of working, dancing, cooking, working out, and lounging in the seclusion of our own homes where bras became illusory and lost in the farthest corners of our laundry rooms, we’ve adapted, we’ve grown, and we’ve learned to love our free-boob habits. Why should we stop now, just because the cafés have reopened and the sidewalks are busier? This is 2022! This is the age of the nipple!
Through all the Twitter and Reddit feeds discussing the great braless debate, the most popular argument in favor of socially imperative bras is that men and women both have nipples, but men’s nipples are different from women’s. OF COURSE, men’s nips are different from women’s! Ours are WAY better! They crown our boobs – voluptuous, tiny, east-west, north, or south facing, round, conical, and everything in between – in the glory of the woman’s body! They give life to children! They are essentially responsible for every great feat humanity has ever accomplished! And you want to lock them away? You want to keep them hidden for the sake of… of what?? Decorum? What is this? The Victorian Era?
The point of this all is not to shame bra-loving women into abandoning their beloved cups, but to implore people with breasts everywhere to proudly wear, or not wear (!!!), whatever makes them feel the most comfortable, confident, slay-nation version of themselves. We should be proud of the light years of progress that our generation of women has made toward body positivity, and grant ourselves the freedom to let our boobs down with our heads up. Let’s lift each other up. No more nipple slander once and for all.
Last but not least, may I suggest a few remarks for the next time you so choose to go braless and feel fronted on by a judgemental old schooler hiding their self-confidence issues behind the false security of a padded chest:
“Thanks boomer! Take your glasses off if you don’t want to see them!” (only works if they’re wearing glasses though).
Or you could try something like– “Let’s make a deal. I’ll keep my nipples pointed away from you if you keep your attitude pointed away from me.”
My personal favorite: “At least my nipples don’t need a little blue pill. How IS your love life, by the way?”
With that, I bid you farewell and a killer rest of your day. Your nipples look great, by the way :)
Madi Cordle is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She can typically be found multitasking between snuggling her golden retriever, reading too many books at once, and plotting her next trip to anywhere with good music, cheap hostels, and gluten-free food options. You can reach her on Instagram @madicordle_