Free the Ladies

When I was a freshman in college, I lived in a co-ed dorm. It was 21 floors – the first 10 or so were for males, the rest were for gals. I somehow hooked up with this group of guys who lived on the sixth floor – my friend Carrie and I spent almost all of our time in their room. I didn’t go to class much then, so basically, if I was awake, I was in their room. We smoked, drank beer, but mostly just laid around chatting. I remember a night when somehow the conversation turned to girls with saggy boobs. One guy said, “You can tell a girl’s tits are too saggy if she can hold a pencil under them.”

Needless to say, that night I went right up to my own room (on the 17th floor) to see if I could indeed hold a pencil between my boob and my rib cage. To my horror, I realized I could probably hold several pencils under there! Even more horrific, I thought about how much of the time I spent not wearing a bra. I wore one out and to classes, but almost never to the guys’ room on the 6th floor. I thought we were just having one big pajama party! – I would wear scrappy t-shirts and old sweat pants, certainly not a bra. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t actually talking about me when he made the comment, but it stuck with me from that moment on. I was 17 years old and I had saggy breasts.

Flash forward to today, almost 20 years later – these saggy gals of mine have only three more days in this world. I won’t say I’ve come to love them or be proud of them – that’s not true. If anything, they’ve continually caused me embarrassment, like in situations when I’ve shared a hotel room or slept over at a friend’s house and we sat around in our pajamas, or when I go to my in-laws’ and we’re in pajamas in the morning having breakfast. It seems weird to put a bra on for breakfast, so I spend most of the morning with my arms crossed over my chest. I feel a bit more liberty now that I’ve had a baby, like they’re justifiably saggy, even though they haven’t become more or less so since giving birth. And I didn’t breastfeed, so they have never served the practical purpose they were meant to.

Nonetheless, I feel they deserve some celebration. So I’ve gone braless the last few days, even though I’ve done numerous errands around town, gone to doctors appointments, etc. The fact that it’s about 10 degrees out helps cover the sagginess – I’m mostly wearing many layers of shirts under baggy sweatshirts and a big parka. But even if they’re not being seen, I think they deserve their freedom in these last few days. I won’t wear a bra again until after the surgery.



  1. Best of luck next week. Just so you know, I could not wear any type of bra for a long time after surgery. Everyone is different,of course. And keep your expectations in check. It takes a loooong time to heal and you will go through all sorts of changes in the way you look and feel. Don’t get discouraged. You will be fine!

  2. The hospital provided me with some bras. They clasped in front, and I wore them for a long time. You will mourn their loss, and we all do it in our own way. Give yourself time to feel whatever it is that you feel. I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow.

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