Marks from the Chains of Femininity


Walking in from work, kicking off my shoes and throwing my coat on the hook, I trampled upstairs. My legs ached like I’d done a 20K run (and I don’t run), my knees buckling with every step. My eyes felt heavy and dry and all I could smell was burnt coffee grounds. All I wanted to do was curl up in bed and shut my eyes for a bit.

In my room I stared longingly at the bed, and undressed, leaving only my bra and pyjama bottoms on. My bra had been annoying me all day, niggling and sticking into my back. As I unclasped it, it fell to the floor and I relished the relief, rubbing the red dents on my sides and under my breasts. Looking over my shoulder in the mirror, I was expecting to marvel at the patterns on my skin from my clothes, instead I was shocked. A huge red welt had formed where the clasp had been, from a blister that had popped and now I have an open wound.

I was filled with concern, the fact that I knew my bra was sticking into my back all day but did nothing about it was worrying. I didn’t change or fix it, I just accepted it and now I have a cut for my trouble. We do this so often, allowing ourselves to be in pain or uncomfortable for the sake of looking feminine or stylish. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had blisters from high heels, until I gave up on them. I remember when I had (cue grossness, sorry!) an ingrown toenail on my right foot. I didn’t know what it was but it was so incredibly painful, but still I wore shoes that irritated it to the point I would take off my tights or socks and they would be crisp with blood. Why did I do that? When I knew quite clearly my toe was in no good condition and all I did was make it worse for the sake of wearing high heels. 

I have always been fascinated with how our skin can be manipulated, like falling asleep and the pillow making crazy patterns on your cheek. But with a bra it’s different. It’s not pretty, or interesting, it’s just painful and going through that pain on a daily basis seems insane. There’s the saying “no pain no gain” which popped into my head as I looked in the mirror but why? We put our bodies through an awful lot just to look and act feminine, when really it doesn’t matter. Whether it’s society, TV, friends, or whatever, we grow up knowing we have to wear certain things, like bras. I was told I would have to wear a bra when I was eight years old, because my family is full of large breasted women, and of course, I became one of them.

I would never stop wearing a bra, because I love the way it looks and makes me feel (especially those push-up ones, like damn they’re sore but they look sooo good!). I also don’t like the feeling of not wearing a bra and going outside, I get underboob sweat and they jiggle about, it’s all very uncomfortable. So going through the pain of wearing bras (those that don’t create giant welts in my back) is worth it and I will keep doing it, but I think it has to be addressed that wearing the right bra is so important, not just for the sake of your breasts, but for your own comfort as well.

To book a bra fitting go to (good old reliable M&S, the best for all your bra needs!)

For more advice go to


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