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Woman Called Out By Neighbors For Not Wearing A Bra Due To Chronic Pain From Shoulder Injury

@grimnoire / Unsplash

Society has some strange and stringent expectations when it comes to bras. If you’re someone who wears a bra, you’ve likely already noticed this.

And Redditor metoday998 was well aware of this, but felt unable to wear a bra while walking her dog. Her neighbors started making comments and now the original poster (OP) is wondering if she made the wrong decision.

To find out, OP decided to ask the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit about her situation.

“AITA for refusing to wear a bra”

Why would OP refuse to do that?

“I 38(female) suffer from chronic pain due to a military injury.”

“Basically, my shoulder has severe arthritis (bone on bone) and I need a shoulder replacement but due to my age and the inability for me to rehab (I’ve also torn up the bicep and stuffed all the tendons) I cannot get the replacement.”

“In order to deal with the pain I have had a pain stimulation device put into my spine which disrupts the pain messages from getting to the brain. Between this, pain therapy, medications physio and nerve blocks I can function, but only just.”

“So now it’s just me and my companion pup and every day I take him for a walk locally. We live a block from the beach, which is relatively popular but not over the top, unless it’s a hot day on the weekend.”

“Up until now, I have struggled into a front clasping bra for the walk and then remove it when I get home again. It’s not comfortable on me in any way, the pressure of the strap on the shoulder plus the getting in and out of it’s a royal pain. But I’ve done it.”

“Recently, I got COVID and because my immune was down the pain flared, and all medical are on leave so it’s just me at the moment. I decided the pain outweighed the hassle of wearing a bra.”

“Now I’m the first to admit I generally do need one, but to be honest I’m past the point of caring. Getting out for the walk is hard enough but I force myself both for my pup and for me.”

“So I tend to stick local to my house, around the block and sometimes we go down to the beach. My dog is extremely well trained to not be on a lead (as this is another disaster) which is not allowed where I live so we don’t go too far.”

“So the last week I have been ‘you know what I just can’t do it’, but I’m getting flack from strangers and neighbours when I pass them.”

“A few behind my back but still close enough I can hear them, and a few direct to my face with comments such as ‘have you considered wearing a bra’ or ‘the girls hanging free today’ or ‘you really should consider what you wear in public’.”

“To say emotionally I’m not my strongest right now is an understatement and I hate conflict at the best of times. All I want is to go out for half an hour a day to walk my dog.”

“That’s it, the rest of the time I’m home.”

“So AITA for not wearing a bra while I walk my dog?”

“One thing I forgot to note is that he is a VERY slow walker so it’s not like I’m running along Baywatch style.”

OP can’t stand the pain. It’s so bad, she can’t even keep her dog on a leash while walking him. But is she wrong for deciding to not wear a bra while going on walks?

Redditors judged whether OP was wrong by including one of the following in their response:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

If there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that someone in pain gets more leeway in societal expectations. More important than that, what someone wears is no one else’s business.

OP is not wrong and shouldn’t be shamed for her decision.

“NTA people should stop caring so much about what other people wear. They have no right to be policing what you wear.”

“That being said I hope things get easier for you. I have chronic migraines and it’s not the same pain but I can sympathize with struggling to deal with chronic pain day after day. Hang in there.” – Michaudgoetza

“NTA anyone worrying about your body and what you are doing with it in public like is frankly just a f***ing weirdo.”

“Also know that in any situation that may arise due to their inappropriate behavior, virtually everyone if not everyone will have your back. No doubt about it.” – ichoosetosavemyself

“NTA – invisible illness/disability nuff said.”

“Edit: invariably, within the limits of the law, none of the AH passing judgement on OP have any impact on what another person wears. Bras are not a legally required item of clothing.” – Allmyownviews1

“NTA- What you wear is no ones damn business. You live in your own body so you have the right to wear what makes you feel most comfortable.”

“People that expect others to dress what accommodates to their opinions are idiots. Only you know what’s best for your body so do not feel guilty for choosing your health and mental comfort over other people’s irrelevant values!” – Sloths_Galore

While the bra wasn’t seen as an issue for most commenters, some did find OP’s comment about her dog troubling.

This led to some discussion about what OP should do for her dog.

“NTA for not wearing a bra.”

“YTA for walking your dog around without a leash. I hope you get at least a fine for this odious behaviour.”

“No consideration for other people who are afraid of dogs.” – vezokpiraka

“INFO are you willing to be turned in for a dog off its leash? Because that’s probably what’s going to happen if these neighbors are willing to stop you from walking around braless.”

“Just wear a scarf or some light cover, you don’t want to get a ticket for the dog being off lead, I think those tickets can get expensive.”

“Sorry this is happening to you.” – PerkyLurkey

“Leash your dog, my best friend had a well trained dog that got run over right in front of her because the driver wasn’t trained.”

“F*** bras and society being stupid about it. NTA for the bra but leash the dog.” – AstroRiker

The OP replied to the concerns about her unleashed dog.

“So that’s happened already. I sent in letters to the council regarding my medical issues and the council has said they can’t officially condone it but they also won’t fine me for it.”

“I also sent in the training documentation and public handling certificate so we sort of have an unspoken agreement.”

“But I do get yelled at about that one often and I know I’m in the wrong but even waist leads tug on me and I have a cord going up my spinal column that I really don’t want to tug.”

After many comments assured OP she wasn’t wrong, she updated her post to thank everyone for the support.

“Thank you so so much for the support, I can’t keep up with all the responses but I’ve read every one and they helped me get the courage to go for a walk today so thank you!!”

“I also really appreciate the options provided and am going to look into them, especially for when I do go places that I have no choice but to wear a bra, I may be more comfortable.”

“Your support means the world to me xx”

Hopefully the OP can find a solution that works for her and her dog as well.

No one cares about the bra, but people are rightfully concerned about the dog’s safety.

Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.