The Bra Rant 2.0

Back in the day, when this blog was shiny and new, I wrote about how everyone is wearing the wrong bra. I prefaced that post with a "girls only!" caveat, but now I think everyone should read it, whether the breasts in your life belong to you or someone you know. In the past few years, more and more people seem to be jumping on the "80% of women wear an improperly fitting bra" bandwagon, so I've found myself a new cause to adopt. This one goes "everyone is wearing a bra, and that's just wrong."

I don't wear bras. I have donned one perhaps twice in the past six months, for fashion reasons relating to particular outfits, but in general I would not be caught dead in one. Now, I'm not a bra-burning feminist or anything; my old bras are languishing in a dresser drawer, filed with my other purely-optional fashion accessories. There are many reasons to abandon bras altogether, but for me it is a matter of comfort. I have chronic headaches, and nothing guarantees a migraine like the pressure a bra puts on your back, neck and shoulders (yes, even the properly fitting ones). I go bra-free because it makes me happy.

In case you were concerned, I am in no way endangering my health by abandoning the brassiere, any more than modern women's organs are in danger of going unsupported by our lack of corset. According to brafree.org, one of the only anti-bra websites maintained by a bonafide medical doctor, there is no medical benefit to wearing a bra, and if you stop to think about it, has anyone ever really claimed there is? I always assumed bra-wearing was a necessity because that is the implicit message girls receive, but I don't recall anybody ever telling me why. We do it because it's socially acceptable, which brings me to my next point.


Those Who Can, Teach

I'm auditing a class this semester called "Education in the USA" and, despite the fact that it's not one of my "real" classes, I probably spend more time thinking about it than even my thesis. It is a thought-provoking class in every way, but one of the best things it has done for me personally is alleviate the persistent guilt I have carried around for years about wanting to be a teacher. We've all heard the maxim "those who can't do, teach" (and those who can't teach, teach P.E.) -- laughingly, but with the understanding that yes, we actually believe it. It has been both implied and explicitly stated throughout my education that my turning around and becoming a teacher would simply be "a waste," and many of my high-achieving friends have received similar messages -- most often, ironically, from our teachers. A professor in France told me point-blank that I should be aspiring to much more. When I was in the process of applying to Teach for America (to which I was not accepted), I felt I had to defend it by driving home the point that it was only for two years, and that if I ever did make teaching a career, I would do something "real" first. While I still think there are advantages to teachers' gaining experiences other than teaching, I am now in a much better position to refute the assumption that teaching is somehow a substandard career choice.