No, I’m not talking about cell phones. This is about something much more important: my boobs.
A while back, I had a bit of a scare. The side of my left breast had gotten tender, and when I checked it out, I found a lump. I had my doctor check it out and his exact words were, “Yep, there’s definitely something there.” Whatever it was, the doctor apparently didn’t think I was in immediate danger because I had to wait six weeks for a mammogram. Those were not fun weeks.
While I waited for my next appointment, I got a little obsessive about my boobs. I realized that the underwires in my bras were poking me right by the lump, so I started taking them all out. De-boned bras aren’t the most attractive things, but all the tenderness went away. By the time I went in for my mammogram, there wasn’t even a lump anymore. As near as my doctor and I could figure, one of my axillary lymph nodes got a little swollen in the normal course of its duties, and then my underwire poked it until it got inflamed and irritated. Once I took the stabby metal bits out of the picture, everything went back to normal. Thus began my quest for a wire-free life.
It is not as easy as it sounds to avoid underwires. By my estimation, in the more common bra sizes, about 80% are wired. When you get into the larger sizes that I wear, it’s more like 90%, maybe even 95%, and what options there are readily available are not terribly attractive. Call me vain, but I hate ugly bras. They make me feel all dowdy.
A few people, upon hearing about my quest, have suggested ditching bras all together. This is not a practical option for two reasons. First, I live in Georgia, where it is boob-sweat season for roughly seven months out of the year. Without a bra to keep things in check, the situation gets ugly fast. Second, I wear a lot of light colored t-shirts, and I feel creepy standing at my daughter’s bus stop with my nipples showing through my shirt. That is a line I do not wish to cross.
I did a lot of searching and tried a number of different bras. I even broke my long-standing rule about “no Internet underwear shopping.” It was a pain in the ass, but it was totally worth it. I don’t know if I can fully express how wonderful it feels to wear a bra without any metal in it. You stop noticing all the ways those stupid wires poke and pinch until they’re gone. My first day going wireless was a revelation. I was supported and comfortable all at the same time. Who knew that was even possible?
Wirefree is not only more comfortable, it also makes me feel like a little bit of a rebel. We don’t think about it much, but breasts go through trends just like clothing. Breast trends move slower than fashions, changing over decades rather than months, but they do change. Pointy boobs were in in the fifties, the “natural look” was in in the seventies (you could even buy a Nipple Bra that had fake nipples on the outside, so you looked like you were going braless when you wanted some support). The current trend can only be called “Barbie boobs.” Everywhere you look, you see undergarments designed to make our breasts look perky, round and nipple-less. I like wearing something that doesn’t significantly change the shape of my chest. I think I’m fine just the way I am, and I don’t think I need to make my homegrown pair look like they have been surgically altered. My wirefree bras are a little bit of punk rock in purple lace.
So, to sum up, it may not be the easiest thing in the world to do, but going wireless is awesome. You should try it; it’s good for the soul.