- The Storried Platform
WHY I DON’T WEAR BRA – By Peace Nkanta
I have never bought a bra.
I don’t know what size I wear and I couldn’t be bothered any less about it (my mom does that job for two). I’ll never understand why I get sneered at when I go out without wearing one. The women who make derisive remarks don’t even help. They make you feel you should be ashamed of your breasts, or need to discomfort yourself so you’d befit the almighty Decent Girl title/trophy to be bestowed on ya by some council of perverts, enemies of unpacked boobs, and decency gaugers.
I think I speak for quite a number of ladies when I say a bra basically threatens to smother you all through the time you have one on (except for those sports bras which are relatively comfy, but man, have you seen their price tags?). What’s the big deal about breasts, and nipples poking through clothes? Even if I want to move from here down there, I need to wear a bra? Who have I offended with the baby oranges on my chest? And even if I had massive watermelons, why do I deserve that torture? I understand the women who lived long before us lived peacefully a great number of years, and I’m forced to believe it was because they let quite some body parts out to play. I suppose the clime then was less prone to insanity and everything was not attributed to sex and seduction despite them having a healthy dose of things of that sort.
I remember in details the only afternoon I hurried off to a local market leaving an almost done pot of food on fire because I’d forgotten to get salt, how I’d also forgotten to wear a bra under the loose shirt I thought covered me enough, and the market-sellers’ reactions. The men at the entrance rebuked me and asked if I had no one at home to tell me I was practically naked. They said they had women – daughters or other people- my size who they wouldn’t let near worldly girls like me as we were wont to corrupt them. Why, since I’m a solid advocate of the mind-your-business movement, I moved on right ahead to where I would find what I wanted and right there was a colony of idle adults ready with their mouths like scimitars to shred me.
“See wetin you wear come market!” One began. “Ashawo sef better pass am.” Another added. It’s still a wonder to me how much restraint I exercised. I had the sudden urge to mash the bunch of ripe plantains which sat on a table beside the one I was at, on the face of one of ’em whoever, because not only were they gaping at my chest and nyarning dust, they were also touching me. I mean, it was bad enough, the embarrassment of being booed in a market and they had to add touches to it. How heinous could the crime of not wearing a bra be that I had to be sentenced to die by the grime on their hands?
I have plucked a bra from underneath my shirt in a bus before because it was the leading cause of my frustration, the highlight of my bad day.
I have travelled in another where a girl beside me was so concerned she whispered to me in our language (having realized earlier we were from the same place), “Nsido afo’nyung adak’isang akpong ufok usineke brassiere?” Which loosely translates as, “Why you sef comot for house no com wear brassiere?” According to her, it seemed uncomfortable having my boobs gallop along as the bus waddled through each pothole. Look at that! Can you beat that genuine sisterly concern? Yea, I didn’t think so.
I reckon we are a people obsessed with bodies — and might I add, people’s; what is done with them and how it’s done, when, why, where, and every other thing that should really be of the least or no concern at all to us, so, c’mon people, how shall we save these burdened chests?
By Peace Nkanta
I have never bought a bra.
I don’t know what size I wear and I couldn’t be bothered any less about it (my mom does that job for two). I’ll never understand why I get sneered at when I go out without