At first glance, the statement “NO NUDE BRAS” might seem unreasonable. What have I got against the seemingly sensible, attracts-no-attention, modest undergarment?
The answer is QUITE A LOT.
It’s not a personal vendetta against the color or a piece of fashion advice. I’m against nude bras because of what they symbolize. I will give its inventor the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe their intentions were pure. Maybe beige bras were supposed to be helpful in the cases of thin white shirts and bright lights. I’ll accept that, seeing as I’d hardly consider myself an exhibitionist. But I can’t ignore what nude bras really stand for overall, when you take a good hard look.
They’re about hiding yourself and any glimpses at or traces of your femininity, in a way that’s more suited for our grandmothers’ generations. Times have changed and we are now women in business in a way earlier generations could only dream of. Hiding and toning down your impact aren’t strategies that you want as an entrepreneur, bra-wearing or otherwise.
Nude bras try not to be seen. They don’t want to disrupt or draw attention. They’re never memorable.
Ask yourself this: on the day of a big interview or meeting, do you pick your boring nude bra– even when there’s no chance of it being seen because your top isn’t sheer? Does it somehow just feel more professional? It kills me to admit but it took a long time to realize how WRONG that is! That’s a leftover idea passed down from when women weren’t allowed to start their own businesses; when sexuality was too threatening.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying bright, beautiful colors and patterns– and allowing yourself to do so can do wonders for your work life and personal life. But you don’t have to take my word for it. A study conducted by Harvard found that confidence is a key factor for career success, where the less confident people, usually women, don’t reach their full potential because of it.
“From a young age, women appear less confident than men. This confidence gap has been argued to play a key role in explaining differences in academic success, occupational choices, and career progression.”
Knowing that, wouldn’t you do all that you can to feel more confident? Why let yourself be held back by something you can actually change starting right this second?!
I hear so many women say they save their exciting, fancy bras for things like first dates, anniversaries, and parties. For every other day, which is most of them unfortunately, we repeat the same bland bras until they’re dingy and worn out. Why is that??? Why do we think we only deserve a confidence boost and, hey, maybe even a cleavage boost, on special days and celebrations? A cardigan and underwear suitable for the 1950’s won’t automatically command respect in the workplace. Feeling good shouldn’t be an indulgence; it needs to be rebranded as a daily investment in your overall quality of life.
When I need to crush a big meeting now, I want the bright red bra or the hot pink that makes me feel like a powerful boss lady. I never thought a nude bra was hurting me, since it’s marketed as being so neutral and demure, but wearing one almost edged me towards taking on those qualities. I would never reach my audience if I was content to be the quiet, “well-behaved” woman in the corner who hopes to go unnoticed. I want BOLD, colorful, fun, and brilliant– for my clothing, my personality, and my first impressions.
If you’re confident in yourself and love who you are, then why wouldn’t you want to be noticed? Even if no one is going to see your pink, mint, neon, striped, plaid, polka-dot bra, they will notice the attitude it gives you. And not attitude in a bad way, as the term is so often used, but the swagger and confidence that other people can pick up on the second you enter a room. It’s the invisible ingredient that guarantees you will be noticed, paid attention to, and remembered because you will stand out. People don’t respect the wallflowers that quietly tread in others’ footsteps; they respect the wave-makers who insist on being heard and confidently present the new ideas they believe in. There is, after all, a reason why the phrase “Well-behaved women seldom make history” is so frequently referenced.
Everyone knows Steve Jobs’s name. No one knows the Microsoft engineer who worked tirelessly and never dared to think outside the box and build a newer, (arguably*) better technology system like Apple.