Adventures in Free-Boobing

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Today I did something stupid and reckless.

It’s something that I haven’t done since I was 11 years old.

It was a mistake. A big mistake. A Double-D-sized mistake, to be precise.

Yes, ladies. I went running without a bra.

I didn’t decide to go running without a bra. I’m not a total boob (see what I did there?). I just sort of forgot to put one on. I was wearing the crop-top thing I wear to bed and I started walking as a warm-up and I didn’t realise I didn’t have a bra on until I took the first running step.

I usually wear two bras at the same time to go running. So I didn’t actually know what it felt like to free-boob. I was too far from home to turn back, so I thought… how bad could it be?


Just for a bit of context, I live in a very hilly city. I start my runs on the downhill part of my loop with the glorious illusion of being fit and fast (in case I have given the impression that I am actually fit, I should mention that I run about once a month and my running loop is about 2 kilometres – less than 1 mile – and I can’t run the entire way – I run down and have to walk back up the hill until I see someone coming when I start running again, wait till they are out of sight and then double over with my hands on my knees to recover before resuming my walking).

In this case, though, the usually glorious downhill part of my run was… not. Each time my feet left the ground, my breasts went skyward; floating, soaring, weightless, like a pair of fat, white cherubs ascending into heaven. Each time my feet hit the ground there was a slight delay… and then my breasts came crashing down to their nadir – gravity, years of breastfeeding and an almost total absence of pectoral muscles conspiring together so that the slap of breasts on belly was more of a thud.

I tried running with my arms crossed over my chest, but this restricted my movement too much. I settled upon grabbing one breast firmly in each hand and loping along with elbows out to the side, the chicken dance song springing, unbidden, into my head (na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na, bok bok bok bok).

This worked fine for taming my fun bags’ bounce, but was not exactly a posture fit for public consumption. Luckily is was a grey day and early enough that I only encountered a few dog walkers. At these encounters, I dropped my hands and squeezed my arms in close to arrest the lateral swing and just bounced obscenely out the front, trying to look casual.

Eventually the downhill ordeal was over and I could trudge back up, only needing to jog when I saw other joggers. Male joggers with their solid, unsupported chests; women with their frontal appendages bound, strapped and tamed.

I was living proof that the bra-burning myth, for all its illiterative catchiness, not only trivialises the feminist cause, but is downright absurd.

Burn my high heels, lipstick and pantyhose if you must, but as God as my witness, I’ll never run braless again!


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