Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Do they wobble to and fro?

I was flicking through the news sites today when I came across the horrifying news that Kim Kardashian has been photographed in public whilst not wearing a bra. I know, terrible, hey? The article pointed out that what was pointing out was somehow unsightly, and apparently not “sensible” dressing, and Kim was apparently drawing attention to herself in a way that was uncommon behaviour for celebrities. I am so glad that useful binary coding was utilised to inform me of this so I too could look at Kim and shake my head at her braless faux pas like a good social participant...

For all I know, Kim Kardashian could have been drawing attention to herself on purpose by going braless. For me though, that's hardly the point. I acknowledge that I had to ask both my younger sisters what a “Kardashian” was about a year ago and following their explanations and still not getting why such a name was something I was supposed to know, I asked friends, Facebook contacts, Wikipedia... I still don't really get it, and I proudly have not ever watched a Kardashian show, but I think the gist is “famous for being rich”. So when your main talent is being born into exorbitant wealth, I suppose a certain amount of opportunistic posturing for the cameras is desirable if you wish to maintain public interest in your show. But what proof do these tabloids really have that Kim Kardashian has, in this instance, chosen to be showy and not simply comfortable and possibly health-conscious?

It's time for me to come out and share the shame with KK: in the past week alone I have been photographed no less than three times whilst not wearing a bra. And the evidence is in my Frocktober Flickr album in case you're curious (no, this is not a shameless plug. Well, maybe a little...). Yep, like Kim Kardashian, and if we're honest a great number of other women out there, I may have, inadvertently or otherwise, made an “undesirable” public statement. And why did I commit such a travesty? Well here are a few reasons:
  1. Bras are f#$king uncomfortable
  2. My shoulder (injured in a car accident a couple of years back) was sore and after months of medicating, strapping and icing, I've found that the best way to ease discomfort is to not constantly use my shoulders as a convenient platform over which to throw a couple of tethers so some inert lumps of fat can be hoisted upwards to a certain, more socially-acceptable, level
  3. The items of “feminine” clothing I have embraced this month for a good cause, despite allegedly intended to be paired with other items of feminine clothing, don't always lend themselves to such pairing freely. Thus ditching a bra made perfect sense.
  4. Not only are bras f#$king uncomfortable, designed to hoist things unnaturally in order to maintain a youthful and desirable appearance, and bad for my shoulders, but recent research I've read also links them to back pain (due to localised, rather than distributed, weight and pressure) and it has been known for a long time that breast cancer is much more prevalent in societies where women wear bras, so at the very least their use should be limited.
  5. Have I mentioned that bras are f#$king uncomfortable?

Before we go into any stereotypes about bra-burning feminists and so forth (although it is important to note that those feminists at the Miss America 1968 did not actually burn their bras. They just chucked a few of the horrid garments in a drum), I think it's important to look at why it might be a bit transgressive for a woman to appear in public braless. Granted, Kardashian is a fair bit more endowed than Liddle, but could it be that a part of her anatomy is being sexualised regardless of whether it is her intent to do so or not? We see blokes walk around topless all the time, particularly during Summer (whether we want to or not) so why are their nipples, naked for the world to see, not even remotely offensive? Or more to the point, why are KK's covered but untethered ones cause for tabloid alarm whilst her beau Kanye could walk around flashing his nipples everywhere without the world batting an eyelid?

Women's breasts are continually interpreted as sexual objects, and this is why the site of KK's naturally hanging ones are considered not “sensible” by our noble news publications. It's funny, but this article reminds me of being back in primary school watching a video with my classmates in our “Aboriginal studies 101” session, and hearing my classmates laugh at the bare and droopy breasted women dancing as if something that these women were doing was wrong. Yet I knew that these breasts they were laughing at denoted womanhood. That their size and droop denoted fertility, nurturing and age; things that were cause for respect rather than jeering. I have little doubt then which is the more messed up interpretation of a natural part of a woman's anatomy.

As I stated earlier, I have to wonder what the reaction would have been if the press had chosen to label this article “Kim Kardishian embraces comfort and good health!”. If there is anything I want people to ponder from this rant, it's this: why don't the press ever do this? It couldn't have anything to do with the fact that lingerie manufacturers advertise in the media and therefore pushing these items as a necessity is lucrative for both the media and the manufacturers, could it?

My name is Celeste, and more than occasionally, like Kim Kardashian, I go out in public braless. I'm not the only woman who does so, and of those that don't, I can pretty much guarantee that a good proportion of them fling the blasted garments across the room the minute they get home because bras suck and they deserve to be flung. It's not a big deal and it damn well shouldn't be made to be one by a media that has clearly run out of stories about skateboarding budgerigars!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for such a great post - I can't believe the intensity of policing of the female body in such a tiny, brief "goss" column article [i.e. http://goo.gl/Kknp4 ] Really full on.