What happens when life throws you a situation when you are forced to deal with all the things that make you uncomfortable? What happens when you have no other option than to look that one insecurity in the face?
Just about a week and a half ago I got a new tattoo on my side. A tattoo that I had wanted for years. As I left the shop, my artist said, “make sure not to wear anything tight around that area until it is done scabbing, and the new skin is healing. This statement translated into almost two weeks without a bra.
This part of the equation never registered until after it was done. My first reaction was to hole up in my house and hide for two days. Venturing out in public without a bra is like a taboo in our modern society.
Even worse, the first couple of days during initial healing the best thing for the new ink was an ability for the skin to breathe. This meant spending lots of time topless at home. My partner didn’t complain.
But it all felt so weird. Why?
As women, we are told how we are supposed to dress, what we are supposed to wear culturally, and some do’s and don’t’s on behavior. Walking around topless and braless like some hippie all day was bizarre.
But why did this feel so bizarre? I knew deep down I shouldn’t care. I knew being topless at home should feel liberating.
In reality, it is hard.
It felt weird staring down at my computer screen and seeing exposed skin in front of me. It rocked my sense of comfort. It made me stare down at my insecurity.
For the first couple of days, I stayed at home, feeling weird about a trip to the grocery store or post office. One evening we went to walk our dog and I donned a sweatshirt in 80-degree weather in hopes of hiding all curves.
A few days after that I was invited to a casual pizza and beer night at a friends house with some other ladies, again feeling weird going to a social gathering sans bra. One of the woman at the party said, “your boobs are perfect and look great, why would you ever wear a bra.”
As the days have gone on it’s gotten easier to run typical errands, get groceries, go to the coffee shop, etc. all sans bra. I have no problem walking around the house without one, but still a small part deep within me is excited when I can pull the sports bra on again.
I can speak all day about women’s rights. I can strip down and take a dip in a lake naked. I am comfortable in a lot of situations and yet when I took away the bra, I felt exposed. It seemed strange and weird. It made me realize the bra for me is a thing of comfort. Which is stupid! At what point did I mentally decide a piece of cloth and have such an effect?
Interesting to be confronted with this head on just as this summer the #freethenipple campaign hit Netflix and is resonating with many around the world. Recently, a march in Louisville, Kentucky happened on September 5.
This last couple of weeks has been about confronting a deep down fear that until I was forced to look at it I didn’t know it existed. It exposed an insecurity.
Now it’s time to deal with it and grow.
Have you dealt with a situation that made you uncomfortable?
Share your experiences…