Hats Off to Liberté

By Mary Kay Seales

It just dawned on me today, as I was lying on the beach in Nice in the south of France that many of the tourists walking along the Promenade, just above the beach, and most surely the young American males among them, were probably “scanning for boobs.”

It’s true that on the French Riviera, it’s perfectly acceptable for women on the beaches to take off the top half of their suits, and let those girls out – free to roam, feel the sun and the waves, the light and the air. How often do you have that experience?

I remember the first time I dared free my sun-starved, lily white Seattle breasts in public here in France. It was the year 2000, and my family and I were on out first vacation here We were staying at the lovely Hotel Mimosas in Juan les Pins. I thought, “OK, you can do this!” And that was it. No going back. My breasts were screaming, like Braveheart, “they can never take away our freedom!”

As a child of the Hippie era, I had joined the bra burning movement of the late sixties (though I had nothing to speak of to put in one). We felt that bras were a stricture placed on us, a left over from whale bone corsets. We wanted freedom in every aspect of our lives.

But truth be told, we weren’t brave enough to demand full-fledged freedom, i.e. full on exposure of our titties on the beaches. I’m pretty sure I would get arrested even today, or at least told to stop, if I tried to take my bathing suit top off on Seattle beaches.

A recent Facebook ad had me thinking about this again. One woman has invented a set of foam-like pieces that fit over your breasts and that can be used instead of a bra. She argues that bras are actually bad for our health.

According to one 15-year study conducted in France (yes, I know), “Medically, physiologically, anatomically – breasts gain no benefit from being denied gravity. On the contrary, they get saggier with a bra.”

That’s not good, right? Who wants a saggy breast?

“One woman in the study said that after forgoing her bra for two years, she could breathe better, had better posture, and had less back pain (she didn’t say anything about sag). This is surprising since bras were originally designed to “improve posture, lessen back and breast pain.”

I know that we are loathe to let those nipples show through our clothing, which of course, will occur without the Sacred Bra. But what person, man or woman, hasn’t seen a nipple? Really, would it be so bad?

Did you know that October 13 is National No Bra Day in America?

Go figure.

I do so enjoy the free feeling of not wearing a bathing suit top, or a bra. It’s definitely the first thing I lose upon returning home after work.

Maybe we need a revival of the bra burning movement. I can just see the posters:

Free the girls! Breasts are beautiful!

What do you think? http://www.brafree.org


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