{#TransparentTuesday} Boobs & Confidence

Last week I posted a braless video, where my tits were all jiggly
and free, on social media.

It was accompanied by a piece of writing about how
breast-owners are expected to do all the work of protection
(protecting themselves from judgement and protecting others from
any reaction to their boobs), and how at least that day, I was
refusing to protect anyone.

The reactions to the video were extremely interesting
to me, and worth exploring, since they were evenly split between
people who clearly felt comfortable braless, and those who clearly
do not.

On the “comfortable” side I got lots of comments
about how much more comfy going braless is, and how sexy and
confident and free they feel braless, along with many (inaccurate)
projections that I looked like I felt comfy/confident/free.

Some of these comments were from men who assume bras
are uncomfortable and wanted to be supportive (pun intended) of
women doing whatever is most comfortable and assuming less
restricting clothing = more comfort (which I can understand) but
the majority were from women.

Reading these comments was weird, since I can’t
think of anything LESS comfortable than going braless. Literally,
it’s sooooo deeply emotionally uncomfortable for me, that even
the physically uncomfortable fact of bra straps and bands digging
into me are preferable.

I do not feel comfortable braless, and I sure as hell
don’t feel sexy. I feel self-conscious, and awkward, and nervous,
and just so fucking uncomfortable.

So why do I go braless sometimes anyway? Two big

  1. Personal growth. I am engaged in
    relentless personal growth, and facing my fears is a regular
    self-care practice. Anything that causes fear or discomfort
    immediately goes on my to-do list, as often as possible, until
    it’s not scary anymore. The first time I went braless I nearly
    had a panic attack, I was so uncomfortable I could barely move and
     wanted to die. But I survived and I kept doing it, and now it’s
    just regularly old boring discomfort. It gets easier every time I
    do it.

  2. Fighting the patriarchy. I am
    ethically opposed to the combination of beauty standards and
    femme-body-negative culture which converge to make women feel like
    they have to wear bras to cover up, hide, fix, manipulate, push
    together, and otherwise alter the appearance of their breasts with
    bras. As a person who wants to walk my talk, I consciously make
    choices that align with my values, and often that means things like
    going braless, going makeup free, letting my belly hang free even
    when I’m bloated, and refusing to pose in “flattering” ways
    to make myself look smaller for photos.

I may have looked confident and free and like I felt
sexy, but actually how I felt was uncomfortable, brave, and proud
of myself for making the harder choice to align with my values.

The other half of people had a reaction to the video
that felt very familiar, talking about how much discomfort and
anxiety going braless would cause them, identifying the
self-consciousness and fear of being looked at, laughed at, hit on,
judged as unprofessional, groped/assaulted, or other scary and bad

I got a few messages saying they cringed for
me as they watched, and many more saying “I could never do that,
I’m not confident enough.”

While the sentiment behind these comments makes
perfect sense to me, I was struck by how everyone seemed to fall
into one of these two camps in reaction to my video, and how they
represented exact opposite experiences of being in a body with

The other thing that really struck me was the fact
that behaviors regarding body image are often misunderstood to come
from a particular “feeling,” namely the feeling of confidence,
in which the person feels good inside their body while doing
something another woman would feel uncomfortable doing– wearing a
bikini, or dancing, or having sex with the lights on, for

This is a completely backwards and damaging view of
confidence, IMO.

Someone might say “I don’t have the confidence to
pull that off,” and what they really mean is “people who pull
that off must feel a specific feeling that I don’t have, because
if I were to put that on I would be uncomfortable and

But what if that person who seems to be so
effortlessly “rocking it” is also uncomfortable and afraid? You
wouldn’t know it if you look at them, but this is very often the

This misunderstanding unfortunately keeps a LOT of
people from taking the exact actions that would help them build
confidence in the first place, because they have the false idea
that other people who take those actions do so only after achieving
a specific feeling.

They wait for that feeling, and they will wait
forever, because fears don’t go away without being

The reason this is so tricky is that we only see other
people from the outside.

If you saw my video you would see me smiling and
walking “with confidence” as my tits bounced and jiggled all
over the place, and you might get the idea that I felt sexy, felt
beautiful, felt free, felt comfortable, or felt confident in how I
looked. If you waited until you had what you perceived me to have
in that video before going braless to face your own fears, you
would be waiting forever.

I wasn’t faking anything, either. I was happy, I
felt good about who I am as a person, and this is like my 150th
time going braless in public so it no longer feels quite so
shocking or vulnerable. I just simply don’t believe discomfort
is a reason not to do something.

I personally believe confidence is the result of
facing our fears over and over to strip them of their power, as
well as tapping into a deep fundamental set of values and ethos
which you can feel confident about your behaviors aligning

I’m a big believer in “facing it until you make
it” (because fuck faking it), but it’s important to remember
that we are all projecting what we think other people feel in their
own bodies based on our own experiences. Don’t let yourself fall
into the trap of thinking the difference between you and a
“confident person” is a feeling.

It’s not. The difference is a set of actions
and behaviors in spite of having those same exact feelings
you experience.

Yours in courage and confidence,


The post {#TransparentTuesday}
Boobs & Confidence
appeared first on Jessi Kneeland.

Source: FS – All-FitnessBlogs
{#TransparentTuesday} Boobs &amp; Confidence