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Student Irate After Female Friend Calls Her ‘Indecent’ For Tanning In A Bra On College Campus

Happy woman in bra outside
Carolin Voelker/Getty Images

With summer almost here, more people are interested in “getting ready” for that beach time, from losing weight to getting in shape to starting their summer tan.

There’s of course a time and a place to address each of these goals, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor akumirin had already started tanning for the summer by sitting outside on her college campus, but she was unhappy because she had obvious tan lines she wanted to see dissolve.

But when her friends criticized her for trying to tan while on campus, the Original Poster (OP) argued with them about their concerns.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for wearing a bra instead of a swimsuit or bikini?”

The OP wanted to get started on her summer tan.

“I (18 Female) screwed up my tan line from wearing regular clothes on campus (i.e. tanktops and shorts). It gave me the worst farmer’s tan.”

“So the next day, I decided to go out in shorts and a button-up cardigan with a bra underneath so I could hopefully ‘fix’ the tan line.”

She was surprised when her friend was critical of her approach to tanning.

“My friend, let’s call her Amy, decided to tag along with me. We went to a secluded area on campus with low foot traffic.”

“I took off the cardigan, revealing my bra to attempt to fix the tan line. If you’re wondering why I didn’t just go to the beach, it’s because the nearest one is seven hours away.”

“Amy, shocked, asked what I was doing (and I told her beforehand), and now that I had to fix my ugly tan line.”

“Again, we were in a low-traffic area, so no one could really see me, which is why I didn’t really care.”

The OP decided to get another friend involved.

“After a minute of this or so Amy just shrugged my behavior off to focus on studying.”

“I snapped a pic of myself to another friend, we’ll call her Elise, and told her to join in on the fun.”

“Furious, Elise said, ‘It’s not funny,’ ‘How could you be doing that,’ and all the other works.”

“Shocked by the negative response, I told Elise that 20 or so guys on the track/cross country team literally run outside all over campus with their shirts off and nipples showing, so why is it a problem when I go to a secluded area, and wear a bra and shorts?”

The situation later dissolved into an argument.

“I later talk about this with Amy at lunch and she says what I did was ‘indecent’ and added that, ‘the world doesn’t revolve around you so you should be considerate of others,’ and that I should’ve at least worn a bikini top instead.”

“I rebutted with the fact that the bra that I was wearing technically covered more of my chest and body than a bikini would and that there’s not much difference between the two articles of clothing besides the fact that one is meant to be in the water and the other one isn’t.”

“As for ‘the world doesn’t revolve around you’ comment, I said, ‘the world doesn’t revolve around them either, so why should I cater to their feelings about what I’m wearing?'”

“And as for the ‘indecent’ comment, the men on my campus literally jog and run around with a completely exposed chest with nipples showing. So how come it’s a problem when I am wearing a bra that covers up more than what they’re showing.

The OP didn’t see what the big issue was.

“Mind you, I live in the U.S. and not a country where women’s attire is controlled or reinforced, like Iran right now. So imagine my shock when my ‘democratic/liberal/semi-feminist’ friends are policing me on what to wear and that ‘it’s different for the men,’ and ‘we don’t make the rules,’ how ironic.”

“Elise also mentioned to me how I could ‘get kicked out’ for doing that in an attempt to stop me, but she apparently had no moral problems w/ consuming marijuana and housing alcohol on campus when there are even stricter and explicit rules against having those items on campus.”

“PLUS she’s under the age. Some are saying I am TA for saying this, but I’m mentioning it because she’s being hypocritical. She’s talking about abiding by the ‘student guidelines’ (there are no rules on attire) meanwhile she’s violating two of them?! Be f**king for real!”

The OP felt conflicted.

“Not to mention at this point I’ve noticed and personally feel that my friends constantly go out of their way to disagree with me.”

“Is this a sign I should leave them?”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

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

Some accused the OP of being an attention-seeker and understood her friends’ concerns.

“YTA. Why not wear something more socially acceptable like a bralette or spaghetti strap tank top? Or throw it back to the early 2000s and wear a tube top (if you can find one)?” – Sweat_and_sunscreen

“NTA for wearing the bra. YTA for fighting people on what they feel comfortable with… Your friends are allowed to have their opinions just as much as you are they voiced their clear uncomfortableness towards it.”

“Your first friend said something and rather than respecting that, you pushed back and made it uncomfy for her to further stand her ground of it making her uncomfortable. I’m also willing to bet there’s a policy that says you can’t walk around in your bra on campus.”

“I agree it truly makes no difference from the bikini top, and it’s basically the same thing, but you are failing to realize you pushed a boundary someone voiced to you their clear discomfort, and instead of acknowledging that, you argued it away…”

“If you want your opinion to be respected, you have to respect others’ opinions even if you don’t agree with the said opinion they are allowed to have it.” – AccomplishedCarob765

“OP YTA… because you insisted on snapping a picture of yourself and sending it to Elise. You could have just texted her where you were and to join you if she wanted to. You brought more attention to yourself than necessary.”

“And asking this question because of a tanline makes you annoying too, for wasting my time with such a long-winded story.” – NotFunny3458

“NTA for wearing a bra but soft YTA for blasting them for shortcomings that have nothing to do with the attire. You are free to wear whatever you want in public and your friends are free to voice their opinions because you opened yourself to their thoughts on the matter.”

“The double standard for men and women is ridiculous, that doesn’t change how your friends perceived the situation. They’re obviously more conservative in their attire and that’s okay too. Trying to force you to agree with their opinions is where they’re in the wrong here.” – JHoot2022

But others thought that the OP’s friends had revealed a sexist side.

“Oh, come on. If her (objectively s**tty) friend was uncomfortable, they had every freedom to leave and let OP tan by herself. OP was not doing anything wrong, she was not forcing herself on anyone or flashing anyone, she was chilling out in a bra on the grass, in a public place!”

“Her friend was not held captive! If she was uncomfortable, that’s honestly her problem and her own internal sh*t to work through, not OP’s problem. You don’t just get to project your own insecurities and judgments onto other people and expect them to change because it makes YOU uncomfortable if it’s not actually harming you or others in any way.”

“If you’re gay and that makes people uncomfortable, does that mean you are an a**hole for continuing to be gay? Of course not, because your gayness does not concern or affect anyone else. If they’re uncomfortable by it, that’s their s**t, not yours.”

“OP chilling in a bra on the grass does not affect her friend, and therefore it is unreasonable for OP to have to change or apologize for the behavior. If the friend was uncomfortable, she had every right to leave.”

“Girl, OP, don’t listen to these misogynistic/moronic YTA and NAH comments… it’s mind-blowing that people still act this way in this day and age. You are very clearly NTA, and it sounds like your friends have some internalized misogyny they need to work through.”

“But it’s not your job to fix them, and it sounds like this was a breaking point for you and not the first time they’ve behaved this way. It might do you well to find some more emotionally mature and less judgmental friends.” – padma107

“NTA. Anyone who says YTA is a prick. I never understand how people treat bikinis and underwear differently. Often bikinis are more revealing.”

“Anyone who gets upset at women in a bra is not anyone whose feelings or opinion you should care about.” – YurthTheRhino

“You: NTA. You should be able to wear whatever the f**k you want. Don’t let them get to you; there’s nothing wrong with tanning in a bra versus a bikini top. Wear what you want.”

“Elise and Amy: YTA. They have to be jealous or something. They don’t know what they’re talking about and need to calm the f**k down. They’re making a nothing burger seem like a 20-egg omelet.” – jayjoneslive2005

“Unless you were wearing a particularly sexual bra (see-trough, super lacy, that kind of thing) then I really don’t see how is it different to wearing a very similar thing except it’s made from a water-friendly material.”

“Frankly, it’s ridiculous you can’t just go topless if you want, but that would be too much for the society you live in.”

“But a bra? It’s fine if you wore literally the same thing just… In color?”

“Your friends are prudes who are trying to control your body and should do some introspection.”

“Especially for the ‘we don’t make the rules’ comment… because they literally did.”

“NTA.” – RandomNick2

Some criticized the OP, but not because of wearing the bra on campus.

“Hot take: YTA for tanning. From someone who’s had skin cancer… it’s not worth it!” – wonderingafew888

“I’ve seen what skin cancer can do to a person. OP is a massive AH to herself by tanning.”

“YTA OP, take good care of your skin, and it’ll take good care of you!” – Nimix21

“ESH. Your friend is being a prude, and if you are going sunbathing, wear proper attire. Bras are expensive and the sun can damage the elastic.” – Choice_Arachnid_9613

“I can’t imagine being so ridiculously focused on tan lines. But you could have gone to a tanning bed. Sure, bikinis are revealing, but most people wear them at the beach… not just randomly among other fully clothed people.”

“I’m going with ESH.” – MerelyWhemed1

The subReddit was thoroughly divided on how the OP had handled the situation, from how she addressed her friends’ concerns to wearing the bra in the first place.

Many were willing to say that there’s little if any difference between a bra and a bikini, but they were more concerned about the possible dress code on the campus, as well as the OP completely disregarding her friends’ concerns in favor of her own.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.