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Men in Bras: Accepting the Way We Are

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The author is an online writer who covers a variety of cultural topics.

To Bra or Not to Bra

Can men wear bras? Should they?

For men with large man boobs, this question may need an answer sooner rather than later. As it turns out, many men wear bras. But for every article I've found encouraging men with man boobs to wear bras, there's an article full of advice on how to get rid of them.

Why can't we just accept ourselves?

Men in bras is a personal subject for me.

I was born as a boy and brought up as such, but at 12 years old, my breasts started to develop. I retained a smooth face till the age of 25, when, due to repeated shaving, a beard developed. I was a mix of man and woman, which is looked down upon in our binary society.

But such conditions are not looked down upon everywhere in the world. In many places, intersexuality is accepted and even celebrated.

People Who Do Not Fit Into a Box

I saw a National Geographic video recently about Samoa. Perhaps 1-5% of people from Samoa identify as a third sex: Fa'afafine. Sometimes a family will designate a male child to be raised as a girl. Since they are raised as girls they are accepted as girls. They are physically men, but they are accepted as women because they look and act like women, so when they have sex with men, it's not considered homosexual. And in Thailand, there is the now-famous kathoey, historically a term for a kind of third sex.

I get uptight every time I have to fill out a form and you have to tick those boxes "Male or Female" with nothing in between. Why do we have to be pushed into these two categories only, when a lot of people are in between? In North America, the "Two-Spirit" (also two spirit or twospirit) are American Indians who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many American Indian and Canadian First Nations indigenous groups.

In the examples given above these people are socially accepted although they could not tick the male or female box only.

Celebration of two-spirit people

Celebration of two-spirit people

I did have a girlfriend, once, who accepted me wearing bras and found it fun, but this was different to someone who gets a kick out of putting on a bra stuffed with tissues, as I had something to fill those C+ cups. Recently when I did a 40-day fast and became 17 kg lighter, I sure needed a bra to stop my now-drooping breasts from wobbling around and hitting men in the eye when I went for a run.

The problem is that we do not live in a vacuum, so to be able to accept ourselves we need the people around us to be more tolerant. I'd like to go down to the beach and take my top off without everyone staring, which no longer bothers me but gets my girlfriend's ire up, and my 8 yrs old son did not want to accompany me to the beach because he is embarrassed about my boobs.

I was helped to accept myself as I am when I googled "hermaphrodite images" and found photos of ancient statues with breasts and male sex, and I thought in those times not only were such creatures evidently accepted but possibly revered enough to make a statue, cos making a statue is a whole lot of work.

Hermaphrodite

Hermaphrodite

So now that I have decided to accept the way I am, and often do wear a bra, I still cannot wear it all the time though it makes life more comfortable. I still feel the need to wear a loose jacket to be able to cover up if I meet someone that I know.

The first road to happiness is to just accept yourself and love yourself the way you are. As Sondra Ray says in her book The Only Diet There Is:

If you love your body it will cooperate with your mind. If you say I don't like my body," then your body must do whatever you DON'T want it to do in order to please you!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.